I was about six months old when I was diagnosed with severe hemophilia A.
At the time, each hemorrhage required hospitalization. Sadly, by the time I was treated, the affected joints had been invaded by blood and were unbearably painful. It was a difficult childhood, but I did not give up, and from my adolescence on I have striven to live as full a life as possible, making sure that I also lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
Due to the long periods spent in hospital, I completed secondary school thanks to distance education. I had few aspirations for my future, until, in 1992, thanks to a patient organization, I attended a Summer camp where, for the first time in my life, I was treated with a Factor VIII replacement product. Its effects were incredible, and I continued the treatment on my return home. This broadened my horizons and I started to think bigger.
And my biggest adventure yet was taking part, last January, in the Budapest-Bamako Rally, the motto of which is “Anybody, with anything, anyhow”. The contest is open to amateur car racers and professional adventurers. It is nearly 9000 kms long, and it crosses 4 countries in Europe and 3 in Africa.
En route, we distributed the donations we had collected back home amongst schools, hospitals and spectators. I may not have changed lives, but it was an uplifting experience to see so many happy, smiling faces.
I have always enjoyed challenge, and the desire to live up to my expectations and those of my fellow patients was enormous. This race enabled me to channel my inner strength. I still don’t know whether I completed the race thanks to the powers above or to adrenalin: whichever the case, I made it home in good health, and so much richer in spirit.
Ferenc Nagy, age: 39 – Eger (Hungary)